Industry investment in R&D continues to grow

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Only 12 per cent of compounds entering clinical trials end up as approved medicines, according to new information released by US-based biopharmaceutical companies.

PhRMA is the representative organisation of the US research-based pharmaceutical industry. Many of its companies are also members of AusBiotech.

According to its 2016 Biopharmaceutical Research Industry ProfilePhRMA's member companies invested an estimated US$58.8 billion in R&D in 2015, up 10.3 per cent from 2014. The average cost of developing an approved medicine, including the cost of failures, is now US$2.6 billion.

There are currently around 7,000 medicines in development globally, with around 450 of these in development for rare diseases, said PhRMA.

In the US, the industry invested on average six times more in R&D as a percentage of sales than all other manufacturing industries.

"Investing more than half a trillion dollars in R&D since 2000, our member companies remain tireless in their commitment to driving innovation and delivering greater value than ever before," said Stephen Ubl, president and CEO of PhRMA. "It is through this increased R&D that the U.S. biopharmaceutical industry continues to lead the world in the development of new medicines to address unmet medical needs of patients."

From 2000 to 2015, more than 550 new medicines were approved in the US, including a record 56 new medicines in 2015.